Tag Archives: ADHD

Bipolar – TV

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tvI want to believe that although I have Bipolar Disorder, depression, GAD, PTSD, ADHD and so on I can still be successful.

I want to live an active and full life. Much of the time I convince myself that I can’t do that. I look at my situation and I conclude that if I haven’t started living by this time in my life, that maybe I won’t ever have the life that I want. It’s tempting to fail myself and believe that.

One of the reasons that I sit static in my living room and don’t try to actively change my life is that I watch TV all the time. It is on all the time. I used to listen to music. Now it’s just the TV. As long as I have that continuous stream entering my brain I don’t use it for anything else. It’s so easy to be a spectator.

During school I finally admitted to myself that I was having a hard time doing my homework because it was on all the time. As much as I’d like to think that I can focus effectively on other things while the it is on, it isn’t true.

It’s hard to turn off the TV. It’s my companion. Right now, remarkably, it’s off. I’m listening to classical music on my phone. I’m trying very hard not to watch one of the many shows I have DVR’d. I’m practicing having it off so when school starts next week I’ll be more likely to switch it off while I’m doing homework. I’m sure that I’ll have an easier time doing the work if the TV isn’t invading my brain.

It also keeps me from dealing with myself. I can ignore the fact that I’m not dealing with my ongoing anxiety because I’m occupied with the TV.

I need to have quiet time so I can think. I don’t think well while the TV is on. Heck, I don’t think much at all when it’s on.

I’m finding that I’m having a hard time with this post. It feels disjointed and awkward. Maybe that’s because my companion is silent and I can really hear what I’m thinking. Maybe. I’ve been thinking about having the TV off for some time now. I’m impressed with myself that it is off. There is so much more interesting and important stuff for me to feed my brain with than TV. I’m not saying TV is bad. I’m just saying that when it is the only thing going on in my head it’s a problem.

A man (I can’t recall who) wrote that he used to go into a room every day with a pen and paper and shut himself inside and just think. He didn’t see people; he didn’t read anything. He just thought. I remember when I first read that I thought it was an amazing idea. I practiced it for a while, then, I went back to filling my brain with static.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I know I wouldn’t be able to keep them so I don’t make them. However, right now seems like a good time to change my behavior. I’ve pinpointed a problem: I don’t think. I listen to the TV.

Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) wrote: “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” I’ve always liked that quote. Thinking… that’s a problem. My medications help a lot. Counseling has helped too. My counselor has helped me identify problem thinking and correct it. (Napoleon Hill quotes)

What’s next? Well, my brain is full of what I put into it or what I allow to be put into it. I allow someone else to put their content in it the whole time the TV is on, which is most of the time I’m awake.

The solution seems easy doesn’t it? Turn the TV off. Easy.

Right now… the TV isn’t off.

I’ve learned a lot. Time to change. I should turn it off. I should–

Bipolar: Stress Stupid

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I’m attending classes at the University of Washington at Tacoma and I’m a junior. I started working on getting a bachelor degree some 35 years ago. I have Bipolar Disorder type 1, ADHD, and Anxiety (those are the ones that seem to impact my schooling). When I study I become stressed and can’t think… can’t remember what I’m trying to learn. I understand the subjects. I just can’t recall specific facts.

There are a number of things I can do to remember things better and I can safely say I’m doing them. I feel like my illnesses are making me stupid. Not like “dumb”. I just feel stupid because I can read something and understand it and then I remember nothing.

It’s frustrating.

I have a biology class I’m struggling in. We have a test or a quiz every week. I miss one out of five on all of the quizzes every time. We’ve had one test and I can tell you I did not do well.

I am registered as a person with a disability with the school so I get to have some special accommodations. What that means for me is that I can request to take my tests and quizzes in a quiet room with no distractions and have time and a half to take them. However, I’m not being able to recall what I’m studying so more time is of no use.

I’m at a loss.

I have a quiz in the morning. Again. I’ve been stressing all weekend about it instead of taking advantage of the break from homework I somehow had.

I feel stressed now.

I need to do something to relax before bedtime.

Warm milk and a book. Yes, that’s what I need. Warm milk and a book.

Wish me luck tomorrow. Somehow I have to succeed. I know I can do it. In my mind, I have to do it.

New Counselor – Full Disclosure

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barney in bean cushion_001.JPG

This picture is of Barney, one of my companions growing up. He is clearly focused on what he’s doing.

I met my new counselor today. She seems nice. I said “full disclosure” in the title of this post. By this I mean that she will be reading my posts so she’ll know what’s going on with me. I will have to choose to be confident and not self-edit. I don’t want to only say things that I think will make her think I’m doing well or minimize problems I might have. I offered to my last counselor the chance to read my blog but she didn’t do it. Now that I have someone I’m pretty sure will read it I find myself thinking, “Huh…”

I guess this is like beginning a new chapter in my growth. I hope so. I choose to make it so. She’s going to be giving me homework that I think she’s going to expect me to complete. I’m never good at doing that. I have great grades at school but for work from my counselors never seems to happen. I don’t know why.

My first impression is that she’s smart and seems to listen well and is observant. I think she expects me to respond to our work together with growth and that seems reasonable and desirable to me. I want to grow.

I want to join ancestry.com. I want to have my genes tested and see where my people come from. When I ask my mother and her eldest sister they always say, “Canada.” I’m like but where before that? People came to Canada from someplace else. Oh well. Maybe later.

I’m feeling scattered. I can’t seem to focus my thoughts on what I want to say. I want to work on my book but I as I say, I can’t seem to focus. Oh, I just took my second Ritalin of the day. I should give myself a few minutes don’t you agree? It really makes a difference but it isn’t magic. I like the idea of it magically tightening my mental labor into a focused thingie. But nah, the kind of focus I want is only achieved through effort, determination, and through concentration. I could add a few more words but you get the idea.

Sigh.

I think Barney had the right idea. Time to chill and let my brain reset. Maybe I should work on being mindful again. I’ve done it some in the past and it helped. I don’t know why I stop doing things that are beneficial, but I do.

Focus Robin.

Bipolar Happy – ADHD and Ritalin

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I’ve been on Ritalin for several months and I have to say that I’ve really noticed my ability to concentrate has increased. But not enough. I’ve been having trouble driving and reading for example. My med provider and I decided to increase my dose of Ritalin to double what it was in the morning and continuing my normal dose in the afternoon. Wow! I think we’re close to fixing these particular problems.

I’ve always considered myself a reader. I was. I read all the time. Then, I couldn’t. I was lucky to read two pages at a one sitting. Also my driving was getting dangerous and I didn’t understand why. My med provider told me that ADHD can cause great difficulties driving. I hadn’t thought about that.

Now, with my new and improved doses of Ritalin I’m reading my Scientific America MIND magazine from front to back in one sitting and am driving with renewed confidence. I love to drive again.

When I first tried Ritalin I could tell it was making a huge difference in my ability to concentrate, but now I can see it just wasn’t enough.

Today I’m reading my Saturday away and I’m very happy about it. Very happy.

Bipolar – My Dog and My Brain

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Training young dogs is exhausting.

She tests my ability to slow down (I have ADHD) and be patient (with my dog Bailey). It takes time and the ability to learn. Why learn? Why should I learn? Because I’m not used to handling a dog and I don’t know how to train her.

I’m not depress so that helps. I’m not manic. (I’m talking about right now.) I’m on an even keel and feel pretty good. It has been a really long time coming.

I am ADHD. My son and I go to private lessons together and I’m so glad he’s willing to go. You see, I listen, I hear what is being said, I even understand. I just can’t remember a bloody thing. Oh the general things are ok. I can put the leash on and start to do an exercise… then I stop because I can’t remember the next step.

Today my medprovider increased my Ritalin. I hope it helps. I feel rather stupid when I fail to be able to recall even basic exercises. I know I’m not stupid, but I feel that way.

Do you ever feel that way about something in your life?

Be well Friend

Bipolar – What is it?

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I thought it might be a good time to share with you what I think is one of the best explanations of what Bipolar Disorder is that I’ve come across in all the years I’ve known I have (am?) it. Read on:

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.
(NIMH Bipolar)

I admit that when I was a single parent of three young children life was less than fun. I was very sick. I spent what time I could be “normal” growing my kids up so they would be productive and good members of our society. More than that, I wanted their lives have the potential to make a difference somehow.

Despite my Bipolar (Type 1) I kept at it making memories when I couldn’t buy the kids stuff their friends and exploring their world around them. They had me at home and my “mostly” full attention all the time. Most kids don’t get that do they? Today, years later, most of my kid’s friends come from broken, dysfunctional and unhealthy families. We try to make our home a haven for these kids, welcoming them in if they behave like good people. We have standards we maintain here. No drugs, no dating my kids, and we encourage the kids not to be sexually active. Okay, the kids themselves try to encourage that. Why? Because it messes them up more. If they have a bad family life you can bet that heavy dating isn’t going to be the answer. The answer comes from within. Just like it does for you and I.

I have Bipolar Disorder in Aces and Spades… Full on and all the time. Yet, today I’m under the supervision of competent med provider and counselor (mostly lol) and you know what I suffered the affects from today? My ADHD. Yep. Like wow. My Bipolar is in order for the time being (and I take all my meds). Now to deal with the ADHD.

I cleaned house today. Until my back pain (I have chronic back pain and FM) and my right thumb (arthritis) slowed me down and demanded my painkiller and muscle relaxer.

It’s a fine line I walk with my meds. (Each person who prescribes for me knows all the other drugs I’m on. Still I check for drug interactions. That would suck.) Managing the pain in my brain and the pain in my body is difficult to do.

Here’s what I’ve learned. Drugs meant for one thing do NOT help for the other thing. Painkillers do not help Bipolar Disorder. This is what I remind myself of so I keep on the narrow track:

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.
(NIMH Bipolar)

You would do well to remember this too my friend, no matter what else happens or what else you suffer from, this Bipolar is a different beast and you’d best not forget it nor neglect it lest it eat your life to bits.

I invite you to visit my re-blog of this blog on Facebook under Redux 2.0. Share this blog with your friends if you think it would help them or help them understand you.

Here you will always have the truth as I find it and as I discover it within myself. I will always try my best to be honest with you.

Write me, I answer all emails. I’m pleased to receive them.

Be well. Remember there is hope for you as there is hope for me…. take one hour at a time.

Your friend, Robin

Bipolar – Remember the the Phoenix

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Remember the Phoenix

I learned that today. I listen to college level courses at The Great Courses and today I was listening to “Mind, Body Medicine: new science of optimal health” and in the lesson the instructor said something like this:

Never forget the phoenix for the ashes.

I’ve heard that or similar sayings before. I had just spent the last 3 hours trying not to break down and cry after pouring some coffee for myself. And no, I did not spill it. But I did sit down and realize I need to get on top of what was happening with me quickly. I took my prescribed medications for these situations.

I don’t remember how exactly I managed it but I went through the part of my lesson for today and started meditating. No, I’m not religious in any way. But, meditation is a discipline unto itself and is time tested to heal the human mind. I’m willing to give it a go. So I spent the 30 seconds I was able to focus on sitting down when I stood up to try again. Why? The lecturer said I could if I wanted to. So I did.

Oh, yes, the lecture was partly on meditation. I forgot my address today. My social security number two days ago and my phone number and my soc number mixed together (the first three numbers are the same, just in different ways.). So, forgive me for getting this mixed up. Oh my stars. (Thank you Bewitched)

Then I looked at my puppy Bailey and remembered that she’s learning to be my companion/service dog. I needed to let her be that for me now. I trained her. It’s great because our attention spans are about the same. 5-15 minutes tops. We trained three times today. The last time she carried a piece of mail from the mailbox all the way to the house, in the house and up the stairs. Wow! This was only the second time I’ve tried to get her to carry the mail. She did it the first time, but I got it from her at the door.

So Bailey and a bird called the Phoenix reminded me that I need to take care of myself every minute.

My father is 73 and has a two inch spot in his lung. We’ve had our differences and aren’t buddies, but… he’s my dad.

I would like to not have ADHD so I can deal with one thing at a time, one thing at a time. Uhh… Makes me crazy. Me, my brain… makes me “crazy”.

Peace to the Phoenix. More soon my friend.